Bankruptcy is a legal option that allows individuals and businesses to eliminate debts. It is a viable solution for many people but only suitable for some.
Bankruptcy attorneys help clients find debt relief options that work for them. They also help keep them protected from creditors.
Filing for Bankruptcy
Bankruptcy is a legal option to help you get out of debt. It can also give you a fresh start. But bankruptcy law can be complicated and not the right solution for everyone.
The first step is to decide if bankruptcy is your best course of action. The decision should be based on your debt amount and the type of bankruptcy you want.
Next, compile financial records showing what you owe and your assets. This information will help you, your lawyer and the court understand your situation better.
You may also need to document court-ordered payments like alimony or child support. These are important because they can impact your ability to pay your debts.
Meeting with a Lawyer
In a bankruptcy consultation, your lawyer will get a feel for your situation and begin to map out your financial future. This is your chance to ask questions and receive legal services that will help you decide whether filing for bankruptcy is the right solution for you.
Your attorney will want to know about your assets, debts, income, and other information to help them determine your options. They will also need to know what type of bankruptcy is best for you.
You can expect the meeting to last between 30-60 minutes.
Before the appointment, gather all the information and documents you think your attorney needs. This will save time and ensure that you’re prepared for the meeting.
Bringing all your credit card bills, medical bills, and other important information about your finances is a good idea. You can also get any tax returns you have received within the past two years and a list of your income.
Meeting with Your Creditors
Your trustee, appointed by the court to oversee your bankruptcy, will conduct a meeting of creditors called a 341 hearing. This is where the trustee reviews your bankruptcy papers and asks you questions about them.
Typically, a 341 hearing lasts about five minutes. In most cases, the trustee asks you to re-examine and verify the information you provided in your bankruptcy petition.
A few weeks before your meeting with creditors, your attorney will provide you with more information on what to expect at this hearing. They will also help you prepare for this meeting by reviewing your bankruptcy paperwork and explaining what you should bring to the forum.
Usually, you must bring your bank statements, pay stubs, and any other financial documents that have changed since you filed for bankruptcy. Your attorney will also let you know if additional documents are required.